This post was first published by My London on 14/02/2019.
Croydon’s Westfield shopping centre ‘under review’ due to Brexit
Will it ever get built?
In what could be a major hit to Croydon , Westfield is “reviewing” the future of the long-awaited but also long-delayed shopping centre.
The highly anticipated £1.4 billion shopping centre has been plagued by delays long before planning permission was granted in 2017, and it was hoped building work would start in September 2019.
But the Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson, has now cast fresh doubt on the plans.
It said on Thursday (February 14) that current challenges facing the UK’s retail market around Brexit, mean it is “reviewing” the Croydon shopping centre.
A spokesman said: “There are challenges surrounding the UK economic and political outlook and the structural changes facing retail have put some UK retailers under pressure.
“We are reviewing the scheme to ensure it responds to changing retailer requirements and is appropriate for the future.”
MyLondon has been told the Croydon Partnership remains committed to building the centre, and still hopes to open it in 2023.
“The joint venture partners remain committed to the project and the town centre and believe that Croydon has strong potential with flagship destinations outperforming over the long term,” the spokesman added.
“We will continue to review the development timetable and work closely with all stakeholders.”
The development is part of a wider £5.25 billion regeneration of Croydon, with the Whitgift Centre to be demolished to make room for Westfield Croydon.
Croydon Council appears resigned that building work – if it happens – won’t get underway until some point in 2020.
A spokesman said: “We remain encouraged by Westfield’s commitment. Despite a fast-changing retail market and economic uncertainty related to Brexit, the council has delivered on finalising the land assembly and final compulsory purchase order process.
“We now look forward to Westfield announcing a start date for next year.”
An ongoing saga
The original masterplan for the £1.4 billion supermall was approved by Croydon Council back in 2013.
All being well it is set to be completed in 2023, ten years after it was first given the go ahead.
As well as 173,684sqm of shops and leisure space the plans for Westfield include more than 3,000sqm of office space and 3,140 parking spaces.
The development will also include up to 967 new homes in a build to rent scheme.
Of these 60% are set to be at 80% of market rent while the other 40% would be prices at ‘London living rent’.